LOS ANGELES — Beach volleyball legend Gene Selznick, who began his career as the sport first began to organize on the Southern California coast in the years after World War II and soon became one of its dominating figures, has died. He was 82.
Mr. Selznick died Sunday at Kindred Hospital in Los Angeles after a series of health issues culminating in pneumonia, his son Dane Selznick said Monday.
Mr. Selznick also played indoor volleyball. He was a member of the US men’s team and went on to coach US teams, mostly women.
‘‘In beach volleyball, he was a pioneer,’’ Dane Selznick said in a telephone interview. ‘‘He kind of set the pace for a lot of what today’s players are enjoying: Olympic gold medals, lucrative paychecks. They’ve made a comfortable living. My dad never made any money on it. He’s kind of like the old-timers of other sports.’’
Mr. Selznick began playing at age 19 and he remained in the sport as a club coach as recently as a year and a half ago, his son said.
‘‘He’s touched a lot of people in this game,’’ he said.
In addition to Dane, Gene Selznick leaves two other sons, Bob and Jack.